International Journal of Law


International Journal of Law
International Journal of Law
Vol. 5, Issue 4 (2019)

The consent provisions under the Nigerian land use act: The equal and unequal scale of justice


Miebaka Nabiebu, Michael Takim Otu

This article intends to examine the purports and the effect of the consent provisions under the Nigerian Land Use Act of 1978. No doubt, since alienation is one of the incidents of ownership, one can therefore alienate his interest in Land without the consent of anybody. Prior to the commencement of the Act a Nigerian owners of Land in Southern Nigeria could freely alienate it by way of sale, mortgage, grant of right occupancy or usufructuary rights to another Nigerian without the need to obtain consent from the Government or it agencies. The only consent needed was consent of the family head if it was a family property or consent of the landlord if it was a leasehold land with assignment covenant. In Northern Nigeria where the Land Tenure Law of 1962 applied holders of rights of occupancy there were free to alienate them. But consent was required by statute only when alienation was to an alien who include a Nigerian of southern origin, or by one alien to another. The aim of the colonial government then by this arrangement was to protect the then unsophisticated natives from the speculative tendencies of the growing number of aliens in Northern Nigeria. However, with the introduction of the Land Use Act, and the abolition of private ownership and its conversion to a right of occupancy under the Act, no alienation of a right of occupancy by assignment, mortgage, transfer of possession, sub-lease or otherwise howsoever could be validly made
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